Recipe: Scallop Pancakes on Boston Lettuce Salad

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This unusual first course is always received well. It can be made with shrimp or fish as well as scallops, and the batter also can be cooked in teaspoon-size morsels, perfect for enjoying with drinks. Although these pancakes are delicious eaten right out of the skillet when the edges are crunchy and the centers soft, they are also tasty prepared ahead and reheated at serving time in a 450-degree oven for 4 to 5 minutes. The edges will be softer, but the pancakes are just as good. I serve them on a Boston lettuce salad as a first course for dinner or as a main dish for lunch.

4 first-course servings (about 12 pancakes)


Boston Lettuce Salad

For the pancakes: Put the scallops, flour, baking powder, club soda, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Stir in the chives.

Heat about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons batter per pancake into the pan. It will spread to form a disk about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Cook about 6 pancakes at a time over medium heat for a total of about 5 minutes, turning them after about 2 1/2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and the remaining batter to make about 12 pancakes total. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes before serving.

For the salad: Toss the lettuce with the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. To serve, divide the salad among four plates, arrange 3 pancakes alongside or on top of the greens, and serve.

Episode 212: Spice Up Your Life

When Claudine comes to visit, Jacques wants to be able to spend the day with his daughter and granddaughter, so he turns to his pressure cooker to prepare a speedy Lamb Curry and serves it over Rice with Raisins. To begin the meal, Jacques manages to stretch four ounces ofsea scallops into a dish for four in the form of Scallop Pancakes on Boston Salad; the aroma of the cooking pancakes makes it impossible to resist tasting the first ones hot out of the pan. For the finale, Jacques transforms a tortilla and a can of apricots into a beautiful and delicious Crisp Apricot Galette.

Minute Recipe: Radish Toast

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The conventional way to eat radishes in France is to split them partially open and insert a small piece of butter in the opening, then to dip the top of the radish lightly in coarse salt and enjoy it with a piece of crunchy baguette. I sometimes prepare a variation of this French recipe.

Cut a baguette into thin slices about 3/8 inch thick. Cover each slice lavishly with unsalted butter. Thinly slice several radishes horizontally (a vegetable peeler is good for this) and cover the butter with overlapping slices of radish. Sprinkle a little fleur de sel on top and enjoy with drinks.

6 to 8 servings